Chicago Cubs activate Cole Hamels, DFA Brad Brach

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

In a not so stunning bit of news, the Chicago Cubs activated Cole Hamels as expected today. Also not stunning, the Cubs DFA’d Brad Brach after a horrendous time in Chicago.

The plan was for the Chicago Cubs to activate Cole Hamels for his start today against the Milwaukee Brewers. With all the new faces picked up from trades, someone was going to have to go.

It ended up being Brad Brach, who was designated for assignment this morning per Paul Sullivan on Twitter. Just this morning, our Tim Stebbins had talked about how Rowan Wick had earned his spot. And the likely candidate for a DFA should be Brach. He was spot on.

After missing the month of July with a strained oblique, Hamels makes his return against the Brewers. Over 5 1/3 innings in Iowa, he posted a 5.06 ERA. The Cubs haven’t said he would be on a pitch count. But they’ll likely be cautious with the lefty as he’s one of the key starters down the stretch. I’d expect him to throw 75-80 pitches max, maybe less if his turn comes up in the order.

On May 11, Brach carried a 2.20 ERA after an appearance against the Brewers. From there, things only got worse for Brach. In 18 games from July 2 to August 1, he pitched 18 innings allowing 18 earned runs on 22 hits for an ERA of 10.13. Opponents hit .344 against him with a BABIP .444 in that span. In those18 appearances, he only held the opponent to zero runs eight times.

Brach had a subpar first half with the Baltimore Orioles in 2018, pitching to the tune of a 4.85 ERA in 42 appearances. He was dealt to Atlanta and seemed to find his stride. In 27 games with the Braves, he allowed just a 1.52 ERA in 23 2/3 innings.

After agreeing to a guaranteed salary of $4.35 million, the deal was restructured in March. His base salary in 2019 would be $1.65 million with the ability to earn $850k in bonuses.

Next. Epstein frustrated over team's play. dark

Theo Epstein, for all the good he’s done putting this team together, failed miserably this offseason. Brach and Daniel Descalso stick out. But the front office has made other poor moves, as well. Hopefully, he’s trying to fix it (he seems to be) with a plethora of trade deadline moves.

Brach avoided the dreaded DFA for longer than I thought. Everyone has established themselves in the bullpen; he didn’t. It was time to move on.